Posted on 06. Jul, 2010 in News

Victoria is leading the nation in helping people into housing, with the Victorian Government exceeding its targets for public housing and the private building sector continuing to perform very strongly, the Premier, John Brumby said today.

Mr Brumby said that under the Gillard Labor Government’s record $1.2 billion Nation Building investment, Victoria has delivered 746 homes to date, and is on track to deliver 4500 new homes by 2012, exceeding the target by 572 homes.

“Through strong financial management and our partnership with the Gillard Labor Government, our Government is determined to do all we can to help Victorian families into homes,” Mr Brumby said.

“Our Government believes all Victorians have a right to safe, secure and affordable housing and that is why we are working to provide affordable housing for Victorian families.

“Nation Building is one of the largest-ever investments in affordable rental housing in Victoria and that’s good news for jobs in the building industry and good new for Victorians looking for an affordable home.

“We understand it can be difficult to find an affordable home in the private rental market and that is why we are helping take pressure off the market by building new homes.”

The Nation Building achievement backs up Victoria’s strong record in the private construction industry, recording the highest number of dwellings approved of all the states for the past 25 consecutive months.

“In the 12 months to May, we also recorded the highest value of total building approvals in Australia, with a total value of $23.7 billion,” Mr Brumby said.

In the same period, Victoria also recorded the highest value of residential building approvals, with a total of $14.4 billion


For the past 25 months, Victoria has recorded the highest number of dwellings approved of all the states. In May 2010, there were 4,385 dwelling unit approvals in Victoria, compared to 2,648 in Queensland and 2,615 in New South Wales. Victorian accounts for one third of the nation’s dwelling unit approvals.

“Our Government’s disciplined financial management means Victoria’s economy continues to perform strongly and that we can continue to invest heavily in key services for families, like public housing,” Mr Brumby said.

The results also come after the release yesterday of the Office of Housing’s Rental Report for the March quarter, which found the market remains tight despite an easing of the vacancy rate.

“The new rental figures reinforce the need for our record commitment to providing more housing in both the private and public market,” Mr Brumby said.

The Rental Report showed the vacancy rate for metropolitan private properties stood at 1.6 per cent, up from 1.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

Annual growth in the Metropolitan Rent Index stood at five per cent for the year to March 2010, well below the nine per cent increase this time last year.

But in regional Victoria, rents grew by 6.5 per cent in the year to March 2010 – above the long term average of 5.4 per cent.

The median weekly rent in private properties across Melbourne was $340 in March 2010, compared with $330 in December. The weekly median for regional Victoria was $230, compared with $225 in December.

Mr Brumby said the 746 homes that have been delivered so far under Nation Building were valued at $141 million and had created 3,900 jobs during construction.

Victoria has also exceeded the number of Nation Building homes expected to have started construction by 30 June. Victoria was expected to have started building 3102 homes across the state, but that number has reached 3520.

Mr Brumby joined Victorian Housing Minister Richard Wynne to celebrate the achievement and inspect works at a $38 million Nation Building project under construction at Mount Street in Heidelberg.

Mr Wynne said the project in Heidelberg would deliver 114 affordable homes to those who need it most.

“All the homes in the Heidelberg project will achieve a six-star energy rating, with features including high-performance glazing and energy-efficient appliances to help cut the cost of energy bills,” Mr Wynne said.

“The homes will be managed by Yarra Community Housing, a registered housing association with a strong track record of providing affordable long-term housing to Victorians on low incomes.

“This project alone will sustain about 171 local building and construction-industry jobs.”

The Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Member for Jagajaga Jenny Macklin welcomed the significant social housing investment in the local area.

“Right across the City of Banyule, the Nation Building program will invest $45 million for 175 affordable homes, plus upgrades to 249 existing homes,” Ms Macklin said.

“We know that people are under financial pressure, with rising rents and higher costs of living. These new apartments will give vulnerable people in Jagajaga safe, comfortable homes to live in.”

The Nation Building program also includes a $99 million to upgrade and improve more than 5000 existing affordable rental homes across the state.

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